Suppose I have a word like show-case or e-commerce or e-mail. How are these words supposed to be made upper-case?

  1. Show-case, E-commerce, E-mail.


  1. Show-Case, E-Commerce, E-Mail.


  • 1
    I think the word "showcase" has no hyphen. Oct 22, 2015 at 16:09

1 Answer 1


At the beginning of a sentence, first letter only, unless if the thing's actual name has either both words or the second word with initial caps.

e.g. e-mail -> E-mail, but Wite-Out is Wite-Out and pro-Randy -> Pro-Randy

Otherwise, it's typically the generic parts (i.e. not proper nouns) of the word that are not capitalized, while proper nouns in the hyphenated structure are.

e.g. pro-choice, anti-socialist, no-brainer, meat-eating;


Mario-loving, anti-Luigi, pro-Republican

  • "Communist" is a proper noun, no? It certainly is if "Republican" is, at any rate.
    – Crazy Eyes
    Oct 22, 2015 at 16:54
  • 2
    "Communist" is proper when referring to a Communist Party or related things. When talking about the ideology in general, it often isn't, and thus is "communist". Though context may contradict that. Oct 22, 2015 at 17:05
  • Do the same rules apply to headings and table headers? Oct 22, 2015 at 17:32
  • 1
    @JordanJ - Assuming the heading is written in Title Case, that makes for an interesting twist on your question. (Perhaps you should have made that part of your original question, especially if that's the situation you are most interested in.) I've seen headlines in both formats: (e.g. Pro-life Groups Rally in Capitol vs. Pro-Life Groups Rally in Capitol), so I believe it's more a style issue than a right-way/wrong-way issue.
    – J.R.
    Oct 22, 2015 at 20:37

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .